Police and Armed Forces show their full York Pride colours

Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Temporary Chief Constable Lisa Winward with the Pride police van. Photograph: North Yorkshire Police
5 Jun 2018 @ 10.06 am
| News

Both the police and the Armed Forces are backing York Pride to the hilt.

The Armed Forces, including representatives from the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, will join the parade for the first time when it sets off from York Minster on Saturday (June 9).

The British Army will also have a stall at the Knavesmire where York Pride’s main event will start after the parade.

And North Yorkshire Police have unveiled their rainbow wrapped police van, which is to form part of the parade too.

Fully operational vehicle

North Yorkshire Police LGBT Network members with the van. From left: PC Stuart Henderson, DI Michelle Falkingham, PC John Topham, PC Dan Kirven and, kneeling, Sgt Sandy Scott
York Pride 2018
  • Sat Jun 9
  • Parade starts at York Minster @ 11.45am
  • Fun starts on Knavesmire @ 1pm
  • More details

The van, painted with the colours of the vibrant rainbow flag, is a fully operational police vehicle which will attend police incidents, but will also be used by neighbourhood policing teams for local engagement events.

Decked with the Policing with Pride logo, the van also carries messages around hate crime reporting and displays both the key theme of this year’s York Pride event #FLAGITUP and the twitter address of the force’s LGBT network @NYP_LGBT.

Temporary Chief Constable Lisa Winward said:

By having the van out and about on the road, wrapped in the Pride flag colours, everyone can see our commitment to stopping the victimisation of LGBT people and raising awareness of hate crime reporting.

We know that hate crime is an under reported crime and some people feel that they cannot approach us if they have been subjected to verbal or physical assault because of their sexuality or gender identity.

We want to break down these barriers and encourage victims to come forward and make a report to the police.

Our own LGBT network were the driving force behind the van and I know they are really looking forward to showing it off and representing North Yorkshire Police at both of the forthcoming Pride parades.

‘An honour for me’

Flashback to York Pride 2017
One of the Armed Forces representatives breaking new ground by joining the parade is Captain James Steel.

“It is an honour for me to represent the Army at the York Pride Parade,” he said. “As a member of the Armed Forces, being able to fly the flag for our own LGBT+ community and the Army as a whole makes me immensely proud.”

Chair of York Pride Greg Stephenson said they were delighted and thankful for the support of the forces. He said:

We believe that having the Armed Forces marching in the parade symbolises the idea that as a society we should be supporting one another and advocating tolerance and not hate.

It’s an incredible thing to see happen and is testament to just how much York Pride has grown over the last few years.